Oneupweb : Operation Michelangelo

21010_soldiaShots flew like swarms of angry bees above my head as I slid down the steep bank into the mossy ravine. A short, quiet buzz on my side let me know I was within the maximum impact area. Then a second longer vibration told me I had less than one minute. I took the sleek gadget from my hip and tapped the screen. It showed that I needed to be three meters up the ravine to my left. Fifteen seconds later, I again touched the screen and set the device on the smooth, leaf covered footing of the camouflaged base. A small bubble on the device let me know that my briefing had been correct and the footing was level. I quickly unpacked Michelangelo and carefully placed it in on the even surface while reflecting on how fortunate this was for me. “Mickey” (as the lab geeks called it) was highly experimental and extremely sensitive once activated.

Buuuuzzzzz. Twenty seconds and they would be here. I could hear them coming up the ravine, right on time. I carefully switched Mickey on and held my breath as I backed away. They were too close, I could clearly hear them talking but I resisted the urge to run. The slightest tremor and everything would be lost. Once I was safely several feet away, I turned and disappeared into the nearby brush. Again, intelligence was spot-on and within the bushes, I found a pile of rocks. And it was a good thing because I was the last one. This had to work.

I tapped the gadget to record a successful delivery, again to take and transmit a “before” picture and once more to email a map of my location just in case. What would I do without this thing?

I heard a pause in the conversation, and then a note of surprise. I grinned and hunched further down behind the rocks. They had found Mickey, but then again, how could you miss a three foot tall odd looking little Christmas tree of tubes pointing in all directions? I heard the whir as Mickey activated and couldn’t help peeking over the rocks. A staccato of “pops” filled the air and Mickey began violently spinning, shaking and firing in all directions at a rate that definitely exceeded the manufacturer’s specifications. The lab rats had done a good job.

I barely ducked in time as a paint ball zipped over the rocks and plastered a nearby tree. A full thirty seconds later (which seems like an eternity if you are being pelted with paint), Michelangelo finally slowed to a stop. I dared a look over the top and could barely contain my laughter. The entire A Squad was standing speechless and covered from head-to-toe in paint. I quickly snapped an “After” picture, posted it to Facebook and then, for good measure, emailed one to the squad leader’s Mom. She always liked to know how her boy was doing.

***

Technology is cool and it’s no longer just within the reach of upper echelon spy factions. Replace “gadget” with iPhone, Droid, HTC or your Smartphone of choice. The cell phone you use every day can probably do all of the things I mentioned above. And really, calling them “phones” nowadays is kind of like calling a car a “horn”. Today’s mobile devices are packed with an array of goodies that would have made James Bond drool—and the way we’re using them has radically changed over the last few years.

People use their “phones” to get directions, find the nearest tow truck service and send maps of their location to friends. They upload photos to the web, post on social sites, read email, play games and watch movies. Mobile devices hold our calendars, contacts, pictures, audio recordings, music, movies and files. They keep us connected and more importantly, they’re beginning to shape the way we make decisions.

When traveling, they let us know what the weather and traffic conditions are like at our destination. With a few taps, we get routed a listing of all the nearby gas stations. When shopping, I can scan barcode labels and get competitive prices along with links to purchase less expensive items from my phone. My news is delivered through podcasts tailored to my specific interests and social apps connect me instantly to people around the world willing to answer any question about anything I have at any time.

Oh, and sometimes I make calls on it.

Our focus is shifting to more unique and individual sources of knowledge. Today, there are more ways than ever for consumers to find you, talk about you, talk to you and buy from you. Mobile devices lead people directly to your doorstep or website—and if you aren’t engaging them in the new mobile frontier, you are becoming less and less visible.

We are crafting very specific and targeted streams of information to help us move and compete in challenging and complicated times. Become a part of that. Provide value in that. And if you need help or ideas, let us know.

I’d love to talk to you about it.